Exclusive Update: Murilo “Ninja” Rua – Welcome to 2008
By Dave Carpinello
PDG: Congratulations on your victory. How do you feel?
Ninja: Great!! I needed a victory to close out the year well and to motivate me in 2008. I’m feeling that 2008 will be the best year of my career.
PDG: Did you sustain any injuries in the fight?
Ninja: No, thanks, everything is well and I’m already back to training here in Curitiba.
PDG: The first round looked like you had some difficulties with Professor X’s stand-up. What adjustments did you make in round 2?
Ninja: The first round went exactly according to my plans. In the first round I knew that he would prefer the stand-up game and I was pulled into his game-plan. In the second round I tried a different game-plan, on the ground and I was on my way to the victory.
PDG: Did you have any concerns or doubts after round 1?
Ninja: No, you must be prepared to try different strategies and it is very important to know how to fight stand-up and on the ground. Both of those aspects are part of my strategy.
PDG: What did you change in your training after your loss to Robbie Lawler to prepare for this fight?
Ninja: Now I am working on more wrestling. I am fighting/training with some American guys and I must improve my skills in different martial arts. My physical preparation is much better now and I am very focused in the game of my opponents. It is very important to analyze their skills and weaknesses. In the world of MMA, fighters reach an incredible level of skill and you must know exactly what threats your opponent brings to the cage. It is something that in the past I didn’t do.
PDG: Did you get a chance to see any of the other fights on the card that night? If so which fight or fighter were you impressed with?
Ninja: No, I was very focused on my fight with Xavier.
PDG: How was the overall experience of fighting in London for Cage Rage?
Ninja: Great, the crowd in England loves the sport and the adrenaline involved was wonderful. I think there was around 8,000 people in the gymnasium. Cage Rage is becoming better every event and I want that belt. I will probably get a chance for that in June or July.
PDG: So what does a fighter do the night after a big win?
Ninja: I liked to celebrate with my family, my brother and friends. Usually you are very tired after a fight and it is important to have a good meal and rest a lot.
PDG: When will NINJA fans get to see you in action again?
Ninja: Probably in EliteXC, next March in USA.
PDG: What fighters would you like to fight? Is a rematch with Lawler a possibility?
Ninja: Yes, I don’t like to choose my opponents but Lawler is one that I want to have a rematch with. Someone told me that he had a serious injury so we must wait for the right moment.
PDG: Anything else as far as appearances or events that you will be involved in the near future that you would your fans to know about?
Ninja: I will be looking to get the Cage Rage belt next July and maybe a participation in a movie in USA. Mauricio and Myself were invited to make part of a movie about MMA and we are very excited with the idea. This is a totally different thing to me and I’m sure that it could be a great opportunity. We are discussing some details but very soon we will have news for our fans. Thanks again to all my fans and I will be back in the cage soon.
***Special thanks to Julio Heller***